SpainWorld

Exploring the History & Rich Culture of Spain

The Legacy of Islamic Spain: Architecture, Science, and Culture

While Spain is a small country in southwest Europe, it has a rich history and is recognized as one of Europe’s unique countries. Spain’s riches may be shown in the establishment of the port of Cรกdiz by Phoenicians merchants 3500 years ago, and now this nation has the longest shared border with Portugal and numerous places beyond its control. After many struggles throughout its history, Spain has succeeded to establish itself as a democratic nation devoted to its parliamentary system, which the whole world now acknowledges.

Spain is an old country

The Iberian Peninsula nation of Spain is home to several tourist sites, each of which reflects the nation’s long history of aesthetic taste. Because of its isolation from other European countries, the term Spain is derived from the ancient word Span, which meaning hidden place.

Spain is such an old and ancient country that everyone who visits it falls in love with the people’s culture and traditions and seeks to stay longer. The history of Spain, which provides you with a contemporary and pleasant living today, dates back to ancient times. During these wars, Spain’s size has changed frequently, eventually reaching its current size.

Throughout history, the Iberian Peninsula was occupied many times by different rulers until it was finally captured by the Romans in 200 BC and named Hispania. Between the government of the Catholic rulers and also the complete fall of Andalusia and its recapture from the hands of the Muslim Moors, it was able to take a unified form in 1492.

In this new century, Spain entered the American continent and established itself there as one of the major international powers. The fact that there are Spanish-speaking people living in America today is a significant legacy left by their ancestors’ early immigration in our nation.

Spain is an old country
Spain is an old country

Location and Geographical Features

This nation is situated between 36- and 44-degrees north latitude, 9 degrees and 25 minutes west longitude, and 3 degrees and 10 minutes east longitude in the southwest of Europe. Spain’s nation of Spain is where the Greenwich meridian passes close to Valencia. Spain covers an area of 504,030,000 square kilometers. In terms of size, this nation ranks 51st in the globe.

In the north, Spain is bordered by France and Andorra, in the west, by Portugal, and in the south, by Gibraltar and Morocco. Moreover, it has maritime boundaries with the Atlantic Ocean in the west and north as well as the Mediterranean Sea in the east. Spain’s coastline spans 4964 kilometers. This nation controls 82 percent of the Iberian Peninsula, and the mainland, along with the Balearic and Canary Islands, make up Spain.

Language, Race, Religion and Culture

The official language of this country is Spanish. The race of the population of Spain is a mixture of the natives of the Iberian Peninsula and the conquerors of this peninsula. Non-native tribes and races include: Romans, Mediterranean tribes, Subi, Vandals, Visigoths and Teutonic tribes. In addition, Jews have also settled in this land.

97% of Spain’s population is Christian. In this sense, Spain has the highest number of Catholics after Italy. A number of Islamic centers and societies have also been established there. Small groups of Protestants, Jews and Muslims are other religious minorities in this land. What is important about Spanish culture is the role of religion in the history and life of the people of this country. The life of Spanish people has undergone many changes over time. Spaniards are hard-working and family-friendly people.

Language, Race, Religion and Culture
Language, Race, Religion and Culture

Politics, Government, Economy

Spain’s formal name is the Kingdom of Spain, and as a result, its form of government is a kingdom, with Madrid serving as its capital. It is a democratic, wealthy nation with the nineteenth-largest GDP in the world. The level of life in the nation is likewise high. Spain is a member of the World Trade Organization, the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, and the Organization for Development and Economic Co-operation.

How the 800-year-old civilization and government came about!

During the caliphate of Muawiya, the Islamic conquest continued without interruption and at a rapid pace and expanded the territory of the Islamic government. Muawiya prepared an army for his caliphate and imitated the characteristics of the Roman army of Syria. It was during his caliphate that the Muslims conquered Cyprus and advanced as far as Constantinople. During the time of al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik, Muslims invaded Transoxiana and conquered Samarkand, and forced the Chinese king to pay a ransom.

As we previously said, the Muslim advanced behind the walls of Constantinople began in the lunar calendar year 49, which corresponds to the beginning of Muawiyah’s reign. Muslims added Sudan to their conquests after conquering Africa, and Qirawan was also formed. They traveled as far as Bukhara, Samarkand, India, Sind, and Ghor in the Islamic East.

From that point on, the Muslims were unable to achieve a significant victory because of two considerations. First, the Romans were more prepared and self-assured than the Muslims were. Second, the Muslims were unable to take effective action to win the Islamic East due to their distance from conflict zones. Both of these aspects should be considered in terms of geographic location.

Conquest armies were gradually unable to be assembled due to a variety of issues, including the management of these conquests and Arab tribal strife in the captured regions. The Muslim Arabs lost their authority and might due to rebellions, apostasy, and problems like these in the conquered lands. The internal uprisings of the Islamic-ruled territories, such as the Khawarij and Shia opposition groups, etc., also contributed to the central government’s decline.

Spain or Andalusia
Spain or Andalusia

Spain or Andalusia?

The first group of Muslim conquerors turned to conquer Spain in the second half of the 7th century AD. Arabs chose the name Andalusia after the conquest of Spain. With the collapse of the Andalusian Umayyad rule, the Christian Kingdom of Spain was born. During the reign of Philip II, many Muslims in Spain were expelled and exiled. The decline of the Muslim conquests seems to be the defeat at the Battle of Tours in France. A battle that seems to be the end of Muslim influence in Europe. Of course, during the Ottoman period, Muslims were able to reach Vienna and Hungary, but it can be said that the defeat in the Battle of Tours is the starting point of the decline of the first round of Islamic conquests.

End of conquests in Spain and France

It can be said that with the death of Abd al-Aziz, the son of Musa bin Nasir, the period of conquest and occupation of non-Muslim lands ended. The Iberian Peninsula (Spain) had not been completely conquered and had not been captured by Muslims. In the northwest, there was a vast area that was still virgin and had not been visited by the conquerors.

Stopping advances and conquests, the causes of Muslim defeat

Without a doubt, just like any previous loss and fall, the defeat of the Muslims was largely brought on by internal conflicts, particularly those centered on the caliphate of Damascus. As a result of these conflicts, the morale of the warriors fighting across the Islamic empire was weakened. This period was also when the Abbasids and Umayyads were fighting for control of the caliphate’s seat. It finally results in the Abbasids’ dominance and their triumph. Naturally, the majority of Muslims’ attention was drawn to the interior of the empire by these internal conflicts.

Andalusia's war
Andalusia’s war

It should be recalled that Andalusia was frequently given over to non-Arab Muslims, which prompted the Umayyad court and even Musa bin Nasir to act jealously. One of these survivors, called Abd al-Rahman, fled from Syria to Andalusia when the Umayyad caliphate in the eastern Islamic world was destroyed by the Bani Abbas. In Andalusia, he was able to create an autonomous Umayyad administration that was never recognized by the Abbasid caliphs.

The first Islamic state to be autonomous from the Caliphate’s court was Umayyad Andalusia. In addition to failing to capture Andalusia, the Abbasid caliphs, like Harun and his son Ma’mun, established a friendship treaty with the Carolingian rulers of France against the Andalusian Umayyads. Harun ordered Charlemagne to enable other Christians to access Jerusalem, which was under the command of the Islamic administration, by giving him the key to the Church of Jerusalem.

The Formation of Modern Spain

The Spanish Empire completely collapsed in 1588 as a result of a major loss sustained by its troops in a conflict with the English during Spain’s brief period of dominance. Following that, Spain became embroiled in a protracted conflict during which it lost many of its colonies and core territories. General Francisco Franco, the commander of nationalist forces, came to power in 1898 as many regions of Spain were lost and the civil war was escalating. Modern Spain was then created in 1936.

The Formation of Modern Spain
The Formation of Modern Spain

The contemporary name of Spain was given to the nation in 1492, after the Muslims had fled and the Christians had gained the upper hand in the nation. Spain has been the center of several civilizations throughout its history, which spans from antiquity to the present. It was so magnificent that the Romans battled over it, the Arabs reigned over it, and Catholic rulers created it from nothing. Since the 19th century, when Spain was able to achieve its independence in many areas, the country has taken on its current structure.

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